J.G. asks from Middleburg, FL on October 01, 2008
My 20 Month Old Son Still Needs a Bottle at Bed Time.
My 20 month old Son, still demands a bottle at bed time and ONLY at bed time. He takes a sippy cup all day long. He does not get or request a sippy cup at nap time during the day. Only at night does he have a complete melt down until he gets his bottle. He has started waking up twice a night asking from "more". We give him water in is bottle, but I am worried that we are going backwards. I am not sure if I should throw the bottles away and go cold turkey or if I should let him keep is night time bottle. I am concerned that he will not be able to soothe himself back to sleep without a water bottle. Does anyone have any suggestions.
D.W. answers from Jacksonville on October 02, 2008
Just don't give it to him! My boys were 1 when we threw away the bottles. It's really not as hard as you may think.
T.B. answers from Miami on October 02, 2008
Throw the bottle away. You say he will take a sippy cup all day long but will demand the bottle at night. I hate to state the obvious, but he is getting his way each and every time you give in and give him what he wants. At 20 months old, he shouldn't be getting up because he is thirsty. You are doing good to only offer him water but tell him the bottles were taken by the bottle fairy and he can only have a sippy cup. Will he melt down? He might but IF you ignore his melt down, he will realize that mommy means business and he'll soon learn that having temper tantrums will not yield him the positive outcome he was hoping for. Remain firm. He's old enough to understand. Just don't give in once you tell him no. It sends mixed messages and mommy and daddy are always supposed to have the last word. Good luck.
T.M. answers from Boca Raton on October 02, 2008
Switch to a sippy cup and water in his bottle is ok. It is ok to have something to comfort you at night and water is great for you. Plus, he may really be thirsty.
M.H. answers from Gainesville on October 02, 2008
I didn't read the other responses yet, but here is how I feel about it. There is nothing inherently wrong with a bed time bottle (or sippy cup - same thing IMO, just a different "nipple"), but if it is causing sleep problems (like not sleeping through the night), then you need to address that part of it. The bottle can be a part of his bed time routine, but do not actually put him to bed with it. If he takes milk, make sure he brushes his teeth after the bottle before he goes down for the night. And, when he wakes and asks for more, do not give into him. Just tell him milk is all gone, it's time to sleep, pat his back, tell him you love him and leave the room. You are right, continuing to give him bottle throughout the night (even water) is just encouraging him to continue waking on schedule. Somehow you got into a habit of that (it is easy to do). So, time for you to break the habit (he's not going to do it on his own). He needs to learn to put himself to sleep. I would move the bottle earlier in your bedtime routine so that he is not taking it to bed with him, and definitely no more in the middle of the night (this may take some sleep training techniques -- I have some advice on that too of you need it).
My youngest son is also 20 months sold, and he has an eight ounce bottle of milk every night after bath. At this age it is still very important for them to get enough whole milk (about 16 ounces a day) becasue they need the extra fat for their brain until age 2. My son drinks milk form a regular cup (no sippy) at meal and snack times, but I feel he still need that extra eight ounces a day, and the only way he will drink a full eight ounces is from a bottle. When he turns 2, I will switch from the bottle of milk, to a light snack and a few sips of water after bath as the same part of our routine. I did the same with my now 3 year old. Didn't cause any problems with potty training for us. He goes potty right before bed anyway, and has never had problem staying dry.
When you do decide to go off the bottle completely, cold turkey (in my experience) is the best way. One night after bath, you have him throw a bottle in the garbage, say bye- bye ba-ba, and then sit him down and offer the snack and let him know that now he is a big boy and big boys get snacks, not ba-bas. I did this with my 3yo on his 2nd birthday, and he was very accepting of it. He is all about anything that makes him a big boy. He did ask for it a few times after that, but I just kept reminding him that only babies get ba-bas, and stuck to it.
1 mom found this helpful
T.S. answers from Panama City on October 02, 2008
I would definately go cold turkey off of the bottle. It's not good for his teeth and he's really too old to still be using one.
Try throwing out every single bottle so that you will not be tempted to give in.
Give him a sippie cup instead. It may take a few days for him to adjust, but just tell him that the bottles are all gone now.
T. (mom of 4)
1 mom found this helpful
C.R. answers from Orlando on October 02, 2008
Hi J., I'm a cold turkey kinda mom. I have 3 kids & w/all 3 I stopped giving them bottles on their 1st birthdays. Since your little guy is older I would say to have him participate in getting rid of the bottle. I did this w/the pacifier, I had each child put all their pacifiers together and "give them away". My 1st son gave them to his baby brother and my 2nd son gave them to the babies in his preschool. Then they got a prize for being so nice to others. Have your son give his bottle to a baby and he can choose any toy he wants(w/in reason). I say use what works, talk to him about it, tell him he only has 1 more week w/the bottle b4 whatever character he likes(Diego, Thomas) has to come pick up the bottle, but they promise to leave a prize for the big boy. I hope this helps, good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.Z. answers from Washington DC on October 02, 2008
Our sons are almost 3 & 4 yrs old and we still gives them bottles sometimes at bed ( we are watching the amounts of liquid for potty traing) and sometimes in the morning when they wake up, because we want them to have fluids before they go to school and they drink them faster. They drink from all kinds of cups and we just don't care. If they are happy then fine with us. Their teeth are fine and we only fill the tall bottles half way or less at bedtime. Just enough to soothe them sometime. So don't worry, just explain to him that he only gets one bottle at bedtime or if he isn't overwetting at night, give him like two ounces, he won't know. Or you could put some ice in one and it will melt over the night. Good luck and god bless. L. Z.
I.M. answers from Panama City on October 02, 2008
My son (16 mos) would do the same thing with pacifiers. He only took one at night, and when he woke up in the middle of the night I would have to go in and give it back to him so he could go back to sleep. When I finally decided to get rid of them, it only took a few days for him to adjust and now he goes to sleep and stays asleep just fine. The first thing you need to do is be strong and firm in your resolution. At this age your son doesn't NEED the bottle; he wants it and knows if he has a meltdown he'll get it. To keep yourself strong you would have to throw all the bottles away on trash day, so they are gone and you cannot breakdown and give in to his crying. Second, be loving and firm with him when he is having the meltdown and just keep telling him that the bottles are gone and he is a big boy now. My friend had a similar issue with her daughter and allowed her to have a sippy cup with a little water in it in her bed with her all night; that way when she woke up thirsty, or just wanted the cup, she would already have it and she could be independent in putting herself back to sleep. You son will learn to soothe himself back to sleep if you stay strong and firm in your decisions as his parent; teach him as his parent you know best. Good luck! :o)
K.N. answers from Miami on October 02, 2008
My personal experience with all my children is we had to make them go Cold-Turkey, but I took each one to the store to pick out their new cup/water jug. One still took it kinda hard, but I explained that there were thousands of nasty lil germs so we had to throw it out! So she wanted a new one; and I told her that she was getting to be a big girl and she soon found her "jug" was an excellent replacement! GOOD LUCK...
F.R. answers from Pensacola on October 02, 2008
He's going to have to learn how to soothe himself back to sleep without a bottle eventually, why not now? Teaching children, even at his age, how to become more independent is what parenting is about. You're delaying his own independence by giving him that bottle that he doesn't need.
I know it's really hard to hear him cry when you know exactly what would stop it. That bottle is just as much your crutch as it is his. If the bottles are not in the house anymore, neither of you can give in and keep up the cycle.
As most of the other moms said, it will take a few nights for him to really get it, but once those few are over with it may only take a gentle reminder a couple times and that issue will be over and done with.
You'll figure out what you're willing to do to raise your own son. And no one can tell you that you're wrong for it. The only time it really becomes a problem is when you feel like it's a problem. Moms know. You asked for help, so you must be feeling like he doesn't need to be doing this anymore. Go with your instincts. Trust yourself. Kids respond much better to a confident parent. Good luck and enjoy your baby!
L.W. answers from Orlando on October 02, 2008
I have four kids and as long as it is water, it is not a problem. I would make sure he is getting enough to drink during the day; my guess is that he is playing too hard and forgetting to drink enough liquids during the day; hence the waking up at night.Think about it, when you don't drink enough during the day, you wake up at night thirsty At his age, breaking this habit may become a battle of wills. This is what I would recommend.
1st, make sure he is drinking enough during the day. Take 2 days to make sure he is rehydrated.
2.Now cut off extra water at night.
3. if after 4-5 days of no extra water, you want to cut off the bottle, do it now. I picked my battles; is this something you want to battle about? If you are up to it, now is the time, otherwise, I would wait until he is over 2, and understands a little more. You know when they are manipulating you.